Monday, June 2, 2008
There it is, under executive session on an addendum to the agenda for tomorrow's Pima County Board of Supervisor's meeting, which starts at 9 a.m. (on Tuesday) June 3: Item D is listed as a legal advice discussion regarding what direction the county will take on Pima County Democratic Party v. Pima County Board of the Supervisors.
While May welcomed the saguaro blossoms, it also brought good news for public records advocates in a historic case that oddly pits a Democratic-majority led county government against its own political party. On May 23, Judge Michael Miller ruled in favor of the Democrats, forcing the county to hand over the remaining requested electronic database files. On May 28, taxpayers saw an end to the contention between the county and the Democrats' attorney Bill Risner, but they also got a bill for his attorney’s fees. While Risner wasn't awarded the full $300,000-plus he requested, the amount awarded by Judge Miller isn't chump change--$228,000.
Now, in an executive session (meaning only the supes, county attorney, and certain staff are allowed; the public is not privy to the conversation that takes place.
The last time the Tucson Weekly discussed voter-integrity issues with Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry, he said if Miller ruled in favor of the Democrats, the county would not pursue an appeal.
Perhaps the question everyone involved will ask during the executive session discussion on Tuesday is, "Was it worth it?"
Election integrity activist John Brakey sent this over to us today. They want the supes to hear them out before heading into executive session:
The court case (Pima County Democratic Party vs. Pima County Board of Supervisors) set the precedent that databases produced by electronic voting equipment, whether from individual machines or in the central tabulators, is public record and belongs to the people. Yes, voting is a secret process, but we have reestablished the fact that counting is a public process. That is a huge victory for "we the people" and better government.
The Election Integrity Movement in Pima County continues and Tuesday's board of supervisors (BOS) meeting could be a turning point that will bring all sides together if critical decisions are made. We hope the decisions made by the BOS will shift the overall efforts from Election Integrity to Election Transparency and that we can reestablish a relationship based on trust that is verifiable. From the process of discovery in the court trial many important ideas have been developed. These ideas have the potential to create a trustworthy election system for the 2008 primary and general elections in Pima County, and the potential to assist other counties, statewide as well as nationally. It is now time to use all the information that has been gleaned to date to work on solutions to put safeguards in place to assure transparent and auditable counting of the 2008 primary and the November Presidential Election.
We ask the BOS before they go into Executive session to allow us to present the following speakers. They will sum up where we've come from over the last few years, and where we hope to go. Further, they will explain what it will take to move us to the next level and assure the citizens of Pima County that we’re working together to make certain every vote cast is counted as intended and the will of people is carried out. Proposed Speakers in order to be called.
Donna Branch Gilby
To be submitted at 9 am at BOS
Three of the speakers Brakey mentions happen to be running against two incumbent supervisors in this next election: Donna Branch Gilby is running against Sharon Bronson, as is Barney Brenner, while Robert Robuck is going after Ramon Valadez.